National Curriculum aims and purpose
A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between groups, as well as the challenges of their time.
- know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative
- know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world
- understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance
understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims
School aims and purpose
We want our children to have a rounded understanding of history by the time they leave our school. They need to be able to put historical events into context and order. They need to understand how and why events in the past have shaped the modern world and our place within it. And they need to have had first-hand experiences of ‘meeting’ significant places, objects and artefacts (be that through visits to castles and stately homes, trips to museums and galleries or in-school workshops with experts), so that history can come to life for them.
In order to do all of that, our children need access to a rich, carefully structured history curriculum. In Year 1, we explore the core idea of change over time, looking at ways in which life has changed over the last 100 (or so) years. In Year 2, this picture of history widens to include events from more distant times that have had profound impacts on modern life, to support children in beginning to recognise why an understanding of history is so important. Moving through KS2, the focus moves to building-up a picture of the early history of British Isles, from the Bronze and Iron Ages to 1066, via Roman rule, Anglo-Saxon settlement and Viking invasions. Alongside this, children also learn about events and changes in the world beyond our shores (including the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Mayans) and a key turning point in more modern history (the Battle of Britain).
Throughout this journey, we are constantly developing a sense of historical order and ‘scale’ (the idea that history doesn’t go ‘Iron Age, Bronze Age, Romans, Vikings, Normans, Tudors’ in equal steps), as well as equipping our children with the skills of questioning, enquiry, evaluation and interpretation needed to be a good historian.